I know quite a few of you were interested in my rwhois
script, and I have exchanged a lot of e-mail with some of you
individually. I think it's time I gave a bit of a summary.

  First off, it's definately the right idea. Properly
executed this could provide a seamless, distributed method for
looking up whois data from all the registries. If we could get
past the problems below it would be a dream for network operators.

  Of course, there are problems. I'll enumerate these
in the order of importance in my mind, others may disagree.

1) Data is missing/inaccurate. only reliably
   provides Internic data, and that data is older than whois
   data. ARIN does not yet participate in rwhois, and as I
   understand it RIPE and APNIC have not yet tied in. There
   is no .US data in rwhois either.

   Without the right data in here it's useless, regarless of
   all other problems.

2) The server is not completely developed. There are features
   in the server that are not fully implemented. Nuff said.

3) There is no distributed scheme set up. The Internic runs
   one "root" rwhois server. This is no better than whois.
   There should be 5-10 distributed across the network to
   provide redundancy.

4) The rwhois protocol needs a caching server. It should be
   possible for any ISP to set up a caching/mirroring rwhois
   server with a relatively few steps so they can have their
   own local server to query. This allows scripts to pound
   on the data without affecting people outside of that ISP.

  So, the net result is I don't see how an ISP could
use rwhois today. With one server at the same location as
the whois server it's no more "reliable", and the data is
definately behind. Plus they actually have tigher limits
(eg number of results returned) on the rwhois server than the
whois server.

  I really think some people should get behind rwhois
and push it forward, as it is a reasonable solution, and is
probably 90% of the way developed. If only it could be
deployed and supported.

They run more than one.

Patrick Greenwell (800) 299-1288 v
         Systems Administrator (925) 377-1212 v
                           NameSecure (925) 377-1414 f
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